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'I have to launch myself politically in Pakistan'

Last updated on: May 21, 2010 17:10 IST

'I have to launch myself politically in Pakistan'



Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf unveiled his plans for a comeback in Pakistani politics. We present excerpts from Musharraf's interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

All right, what are your plans,  are you planning on going back to Pakistan to run for president?

I certainly am planning to go back to Pakistan and also join politics.  The question already of whether I am running for president or prime minister will be seen later.

When does that mean, later?

Well, I have to launch myself politically, formally, which I haven't done.  So I am interacting with a lot of politicians and with the people of Pakistan, with the Pakistani diaspora in the United States and in the UK.  I have taken a decision in principle to join politics and go back to Pakistan.  

When will you go back?  In the next few weeks, the next few months?

It is related to the elections in Pakistan.  I am very sure of one thing, that whether it's end term elections or mid-term elections, I will be there before those elections.

The mid-term elections would be the next set of elections? When are those?

If at all it's a mid-term election, it will be next year, maybe, 2011.

Courtesy: CNN

Image: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

'I hope I am luckier than Benazir'

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But you're saying that right now, you're going to go back to Pakistan, get into politics and run either for president or for prime minister?

We run a parliamentary system there (in Pakistan). So your party has to win in the election. Basically, you are heading the party, you are running for the prime ministership, because in Pakistan, the chief executive is the prime minister, not the president.

You've been away from Pakistan for about a year. Are you worried about going back, your safety?

There are security issues. Maybe my wife and my family are more worried than I am. But there are security issues which one needs to take into consideration. And that is why I'm not laying down any dates for my return. I'm looking at the issues there. But I do intend launching and declaring my intentions formally sooner rather than later.

A few weeks before Benazir Bhutto decided to go back to Pakistan and run for office, I asked her how concerned she was about her security. She basically told me it was in God's hands. I'm hearing something similar to you. We know what happened to her when she started campaigning for political office in Pakistan.

 Well, I -- I hope I am more lucky -- luckier than her.

Is it time for the US to go in there? On the ground (Northern Waziristan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border)

No, not at all.

Image: A man walks in front of a poster of Benazir Bhutto
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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'Terrorism is a symptom, we have to adress its causes'

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Did you know Faisal Shahzad's father? He was an air vice-marshal in the Pakistani Air Force, he comes from a very distinguished Pakistani family.

I didn't know his (Shahzad's) father. It's unfortunate. I always keep saying that terrorism is a symptom. We have to go into the causes.

What was the cause that he adopted this course, which is most unusual and very sad, that a boy -- a young man coming from such a distinguished family, his father being an air vice marshal in the air force, the Pakistani Air Force, yet he goes for this. So we need to get into the cause. What made him do it? What was the indoctrination? What was the motivation for him to take and adopt this course?

Is this the right thing for the government of Pakistan to do, to shut down Facebook  

Well, frankly, I am a great supporter of Facebook and that is why my Facebook is going on very, very successfully. Having said that, I feel, in Pakistan and especially in the Muslim world generally, there is extreme sensitivity -- religious sensitivities of any negative aspersions on the Prophets --not only our Prophet, but even on Jesus Christ, for that matter,  because he's considered a prophet in the Koran and by the Muslims. So these sensitivities must be realised by everyone.

Image: Suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad
Photographs: USDOJ/Reuters
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